Contact: Anne Perry Moore, 218-723-2356
Duluth, Minn. -- Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railroad Company (DM & IR) has paid a $20,000 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for three air quality violations in 2007.
A November 2006 enforcement settlement between DM & IR and MPCA, which resolved past air quality violations, also included a penalty provision in the event of subsequent violations. Ambient air quality monitors near the Duluth facility recorded three violations on July 17, Aug. 10, and Aug. 22, 2007.
The DM & IR transports taconite pellets from three Minnesota taconite plants to its facilities in Duluth and Two Harbors for storage, loading and shipment on the Great Lakes. Taconite pellets can generate dust emissions during railcar unloading and ship loading, moving and stockpiling.
In response to its air quality violations, the DM & IR committed to improving dust suppression and continuing ambient air quality monitoring for dust. For example, when air temperatures are above freezing, the DM & IR now wets the taconite pellets in rail cars with water prior to unloading them in Duluth. The company will also continue to implement required compliance plans at their Duluth and Two Harbors facilities.
Minnesota law requires owners and operators of facilities with the potential to release air pollutants to have MPCA permits. They must also carefully monitor and maintain equipment because emissions exceeding state standards can degrade air quality. The MPCA offers outreach and training to help facilities meet their permit requirements. For more information on air quality permits and emission standards, call Bob Beresford, MPCA air quality inspector, at 218-723-4664 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3864.